It’s been hard not being frustrated with my family over the last year. Holidays have been hard. My sister has put my parent’s in a hard situation. I don’t blame them. They have bowed to my sister’s pressure so that they can continue having their grandchildren in their lives. But, it’s still hard. I’d like to have a supportive family in my life as well. This Easter was the first major holiday in this year long ridiculousness where I haven’t even brought it up. I knew it would just bring tears.
I might as well be living 2,000 miles away. There’s not much difference in how I celebrate holidays now, compared to how I did when I lived in Hawaii. I spent time with friends.
I knew I couldn’t stay at home. I didn’t want to deal with the inevitable questions from the roommate. He’s not in the know as of yet. And I’d like to keep it that way. So, I made plans to go spend the day in Boulder. I threw my bike into the back of the truck and took my small point and shoot camera. I don’t spend a lot of time in Boulder. So, I thought I would spend the day distracting myself by exploring and taking pictures.
The front passenger side window won’t go up. So, I was worried about leaving it parked anywhere. But, I have a couple of friends in Boulder who volunteered a parking spot in their safe and well watched development while they spent time with their extended family down in the metro area. They asked if I wanted to go with them. But, I didn’t want to intrude on their family plans. Besides, I was looking forward to exploring this magical bubble city known as Boulder.
When I got up to my friend’s house, her husband had left with their kids. But, she was still there. So, before I left, we talked while I helped her remove shells from hard boiled easter eggs the mischevious Pagan Easter Bunny had hidden that morning. I don’t think I had ever done this before since I haven’t had hard boiled eggs. I have this thing about food texture. So, it was weird holding an unshelled hard boiled egg in my hand. It had this weird rubbery feel to it. People put these things in their mouths?
Once we were done with the eggs, we parted ways. She went down to spend the afternoon with her family and I rode down to the Pearl Street mall. I’ve been to the pedestrian mall before. But, it had been at least a couple of years. I had been told that they had just finished planting tulips in the flower beds. So, I made that my first stop.
It was a beautiful day. And quite a few people had the same idea I had. Summer has definitely begun here in Colorado. The sun was out. I didn’t look up to see if there were any clouds overhead. But, I didn’t notice any shadows. And if it wasn’t 80 degrees, it was close. There was a barely noticeable breeze that kept any potential heat at arms length.
It was a great day for a bike ride.
Upon arriving at the mall, I dismounted and walked my bike while doing some people watching. There were several people with very professional cameras taking pictures of the colorful flower beds. By no means were they the majority. But, I did see several families all dressed up like they came from either church or spending time with their families. Some of the shops were dark with small handwritten notes taped to the inside of the doors explaining that they would be closed on Easter Sunday. But, most were open. I was tempted to walk into Ben and Jerry’s. But, it was packed. And I hadn’t really eaten lunch yet. I could hear my mom lecturing me from afar about not eating ice cream before a regular meal.
I snapped some pictures with my camera. But, for the most part, I just simply enjoyed the walk. After the pedestrian mall ended, I once again got on the bike to see where Pearl went on the west side. It seems like I only had to go maybe a mile or two before it curved around to the south and landed on Canyon. I could see a trail and a park nearby. But, most of the bike riders heading in that direction had mountain bikes. So, I decided that could wait until I had the right gear. I don’t think I had been on Canyon since I was still with the ex-girlfriend. Back then, I think she had taken me to see Boulder falls. Which, I think are up in that direction. But, since I wanted to stay close to town, I decided to make a left onto Canyon and see where it led me.
At last, a street lacking a bike lane. I hadn’t ridden along with traffic in the longest time. I miss it. It was exhilerating. But, I also noticed a body of water to my right. I could see people hanging out near the banks and before long, I saw that Boulder likes giving their bad kids a nice place to spend their time. What an odd place for a juvenile hall. The republican in me was thankful for the lack of windows. But, I had to admire that the ivy on the walls was nice looking. I’m so conflicted!
Just past the juvenile hall, I stopped and decided to look around a little bit. I made a right at what I think is 11th St. and crossed a hidden little bridge that led to a staircase built into the dirt made of railroad ties that led down to the banks of the creek. The water was flowing. But, I got the impression that the level was still lower than normal. Once that snow up in the mountains melts, watch out. Too my right, about 100 feet downstream, I saw some teenagers giving me the “don’t come down here you, you adult” look. And on the opposite side of the water and up on the grass, I saw a family enjoying a birthday party. I zoomed in and took a picture. When I finished uploading all my shots, I noticed an older lady looking desperately in my direction. She didn’t look happy to be sporting one of those cone shaped party hats.
There wasn’t much to see here. So, I threw the bike over my shoulder (Yay for aluminum) and walked back up to the road. Before taking off, I took a few pictures of an old rusty gate at the entrance to a small residential complex. It was a bit difficult finding the path that ran alongside the creek. But, once located, it was all down hill. But, before long, I found myself under a bridge and riding along a retaining wall that held a great amount of water back from falling all over the path. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw………was that a dog standing on a rock in the middle of all that water? Why yes. Yes, I think it was. *Brakes*
Under this bridge, I stood and watched as a man standing just on the other side of the bridge with his family, throw a ball for his dog. There were a couple of throws that the dog struggled with. But, he eventually found his prized toy. There was an interesting Asian looking building across the street from this small park. I found out later that it was a tea house. I look forward to visiting soon.
At this point, I was starting to feel a little tired. So, I headed back the mall and from there, I rode back to my friend’s house. It wasn’t too long before they came home. But, try as I might, I couldn’t help taking a nap. I need to spend more time on the bike.
My friends had said I was welcome to stay through the evening. So, not wanting to be alone, I accepted. We talked and I showed off pictures until two other friends of theirs rang the doorbell. They are a couple who live in the same complex. They are very nice. But, since they are strangers, I tend to be a little reserved. But, not so much that it freaked me out when my friend introduced me as Becca. They didn’t seem all that shocked. But, I was (Breathe, Becca. Breathe).
My friend’s husband and the husband of the couple who were visiting started playing a video game called Star Craft, I think. They seemed completely engrossed in it. So, that left the three of us to talk. I was fascinated learning that this woman had been working on a doctoral thesis. I love talking with people who are pursuing their educational goals. At present, it sounds like she’s put it on the shelf for now. But, I was in complete awe.
Before long, talk turned to dinner. Originally, we thought about doing pasta. But, some of the people there had pasta the night before. So, we decided that stir fry sounded good. I’ve only made stir fry once. So, I volunteered to help so that I could learn more. The dinner was wonderful. And like most dinners with friends, the conversation was 50% of what made it a good meal. I didn’t talk much. But, when I wasn’t talking, I was listening.
Shortly after dinner, their neighbors made their exit. And I really should have gone at this point as well. I hate over staying my welcome. But, my friend told me I was welcome to stay longer. I justified staying longer so that I could use their broadband to finish uploading pictures. While I did, my friend got to work on an online course she’s taking from M.I.T. I tried to keep track of what the professor was talking about. But, I was disadvantaged in not seeing what he was writing on his white board and the fact that most of the material was going over my head. My friend kept asking me if her constant start and stop of the video was annoying me. But, I was actually in the mood to see if I could learn something from it. I don’t think much got through though.
Once my pictures were uploaded, I made my exit. My friend is a night owl. I usually am myself. But, with this job, I have to get to sleep earlier than usual.
I know how depressed I can get when left alone on major holidays. I felt very lucky to be able to hang out with such great friends. The ride around Boulder was nice. But, I think the highlight was dinner and great conversation.
Although I missed my family terribly, it was a good day.